Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Before I NOLA

One month and seven hours of intense stenciling later and it’s up! With a lot of support from old and new friends, I turned the side of an abandoned house in my neighborhood into a giant chalkboard with grids that say, “Before I die I want to _______.” Residents can use chalk to write on the wall and remember what is important to them in life. Before I Die transforms neglected spaces into constructive ones where we can learn the hopes and aspirations of the people around us. It turns out this entire process (including official approval from many entities) has been a great lesson, experience, and project in itself – more on that later. If you’re in New Orleans, stop by the corner of Marigny and Burgundy (900 Marigny St) to add your thoughts to the wall and see what matters most to your neighbors. It’s a question that has changed me in the last year, and I believe the design of our public spaces can better reflect what’s important to our neighborhoods and our personal well-being. The responses and stories from passersby while we were installing it have already hit me hard in the heart. More installations to come. Huge thanks to Kristina Kassem, Alan Williams, Cory Klemmer, Anamaria Vizcaino, James Reeves, Alex Vialou, and Gary Hustwit for installation assistance and many others for support along the way! Concurrently installed in East/West Galleries.

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